Share of Homes Selling at or Above List Price Back to Long Term Average

Over 29% of Homes Sold at or Above List Price
in December 2019

By Shu Chen Consumer Behavior, Real Estate

Ten years after the financial crisis, the national CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI®) has exceeded its pre-crisis peak and continues to grow but at a slower pace than in recent years. With home prices reaching many buyers’ budget limits, the share of homes selling at or above list price has returned to normal levels.

Figure 1[1] shows the share of homes that sold at a price above, equal to or below the list price. The share of homes selling at or above list price (orange line in Figure 1) has returned to early 2000 levels. In Q2 2018, that share peaked at 43% of total sales – almost triple the level during the trough in January 2008. As annual home price growth started to slow in Q3 2018, the share of homebuyers able to negotiate a better price began to rise. As of December 2019, the share of homes that were sold at or above list price has fallen to 29.4% – which is the same level of the average since 2000.

Figure 1 Share Of Sales At, Above Or Below The List Price Drops Back To Normal Levels

Housing markets are different across the nation and sales and listing patterns vary geographically. Figure 2 shows the share of homes that sold at, above, or below their list prices in 20 metropolitan areas during December 2019. San Francisco had the largest share of homes – 56% – that sold for at least the list price. Los Angeles and Washington DC followed with 44% and 42% selling for the list price or more, respectively. West Palm Beach had the lowest share –14% – of homes selling at or above the list price in December.

Figure 2 San Francisco Had The Highest Share Of Homes Selling Above List Price

Price pressures rapidly increase as supply drops below 3 months. Figure 3 shows the price premium or discount and months’ supply for over 200 metropolitan areas in December 2019. In San Francisco, where the supply has been thin, homebuyers paid 1.8% more than the asking price on average. On the other hand, in a market like Miami, where the months’ supply was relatively high, homebuyers were able to negotiate below asking prices, with average discounts of 7.9% in December.

Figure 3 Price Pressures Increase As Supply Drops Below 3 Months

[1] The U.S. statistics are based on data for 51 metropolitan areas. Each of these metros has at least 50% coverage since 2000. CoreLogic MLS data coverage usually increases over time, which might also contribute to inventory increases.

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